June 3, 2010 |
This crumbling Delta town, set amid cotton fields, abandoned railroad tracks and cypress-studded bayous, is a hard place. So hard that the plaintive sound of a local musician drawing a knife blade across the strings of his guitar gave birth to the blues here a century ago. So hard that a Roman Catholic nun named Anne Brooks has struggled for the last 27 years to keep a medical clinic open for the poor. "It's a pretty hand-to-mouth existence," said Brooks, 71, a physician with a wry sensibility and a profane streak.
January 25, 2010 |
Dr. Aaron Shirley has devoted his career to serving the rural poor in the Mississippi Delta, but now the 77-year-old pediatrician believes the key to reducing the nation's highest infant mortality rates lies in a surprising place: the Islamic Republic of Iran. Never mind that America and Iran broke diplomatic relations after militants seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979, or that the White House is seeking new United Nations sanctions to punish the regime for its nuclear development program.
December 1, 1985 |
Folks who want to beat their feet in the Mississippi mud will find less of it available than in the past, a new government study shows. Sediment discharged by the mighty river has been reduced by half in the last 35 years, and this may be a factor in receding shorelines in the Mississippi Delta, the U.S. Geological Survey reports. The study said the dramatic drop in sediment carried by the river occurred following construction of several large dams on the Missouri River in the 1950s and 1960s.
August 31, 2008 |
He started out here 60 years ago, singing the blues on a street corner for dimes. Now, less than three blocks from that corner, the legendary B.B. King will soon have his own museum. The B.B. King Museum & Delta Interpretive Center is set to open Sept. 13, three days before his 83rd birthday. The museum honors the man who Rolling Stone magazine says "is universally recognized as the leading exponent of modern blues." It is but one in a surprisingly long list of attractions in the Mississippi Delta -- surprisingly long only if you've never visited the region.
November 5, 1995 |
The Mississippi Delta, according to Southern definition, begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tenn., and stretches south to Catfish Row in Vicksburg, Miss. I see this as the distance between the king-size slabs of barbecued ribs at the Rendezvous restaurant, up the alley from the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, to the dainty tomato sandwiches at the Harrison House Antiques & Tea Room, just a few blocks uphill from the Vicksburg riverfront, where slaves lived not so long ago.
May 24, 1987 |
"The economy is pathetic," Postmaster Sammie Burchfield said. "Food stamps, welfare and Social Security are all that keep us going." A woman modern enough to insist that she is not a "postmistress," Burchfield still can recall fondly the good old days when, in the Mississippi Delta, cotton was king. "During World War II we had three gins running," she said. "We had a hotel, two drugstores and three doctors." Alligator, near the Mississippi River, 88 miles south of Memphis, Tenn.
May 13, 1990 |
The day Cleo Dunnings said goodby to her daughter, they both realized a bitter fact of life: The road to success often leads one way--straight out of this Mississippi Delta town. With no job and no strong prospects, Donna Dunnings Sidney moved north, following a route many of her peers have taken, packing their skills, their dreams and part of this town's future.
May 9, 2002 |
CAN'T BE SATISFIED The Life and Times of Muddy Waters By Robert Gordon Little, Brown 408 Pages, $25.95 Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner wrote in the magazine's first issue in 1967 that though its name refers to the old saying "A rolling stone gathers no moss," the magazine's name was inspired by Muddy Waters, who first used it as a song title. It was also from this song title that the Rolling Stones took their name.